Traditionally the first time a couple see each other on their wedding day is as they walk down the aisle. Many people believe that this brings good luck and fortune to your marriage. More recently however, couples are choosing to see each other as they arrive at the venue in what is known as The First Look. Today we’re looking at the pros and cons of having a first look.
The First Look: Pros
Your wedding day is full of plans with your closest family and friends, which is amazing – right up until you want time to talk to your new spouse. Having a first look means you have a quiet moment to see each other before any of your guests even arrive.
Seeing each other before the ceremony can completely eradicate your nerves. You’ll have time to talk about the day and what’s in store. The build up to seeing each other will also be over, and your adrenaline will start to come down a little too.
Some couples are worried about shedding a tear as they walk down the aisle. Having a first look means that your happy tears will be out of the way and you’ll be able to walk down the aisle with a huge smile on your face. You’ll also have the chance to top up your makeup before the ceremony, so there won’t be any running mascara on your ceremony photographs.
Walking In Together
For some couples the start of the ceremony is the most nerve racking. One of you stands at the altar with all the guests looking at you, until the other walks down the aisle and the attention turns to them. A first look means you can hold hands and walk down the aisle together, keeping the focus on the both of you.
Thinking about the practical side of a first look is a key factor in making your decision. If you’re both getting ready in the same place, it can reduce transport costs if you arrive together. You won’t need to think about hiding anywhere to prevent you from seeing your bride or groom to be either. It can be a much less stressful experience.
We have to mention the pros of first look photographs! It’s a moment that can’t be replicated, and it’s private. If your first look is down the aisle there’s the risk of having guests arms, faces, and sometimes even phones obscuring your photographs. With a pre-planned first look there’ll just be you two. It’s also an excellent time to capture some couples photographs, keeping you free for the rest of the day to enjoy time with your guests.
The First Look: Cons
What if it really is unlucky to see your bride to be before the wedding? We don’t believe for a second that it is, but explaining the concept of a first look to an older relative can be a challenge. You also need to be sure it’s a tradition you’re happy to break yourself.
You need to allow time for the first look, if that’s something you’re choosing to do. The issue is you have to be ready sooner, and therefore be up sooner. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will too. This isn’t usually a problem for a later wedding, but if you’re going for an 11am ceremony having everyone ready at 9:45 can be a challenge! You might also need to ask your makeup artist to stay longer, just in case you need a touch up. If things start to run over your first look can feel rushed and not have the romantic feel you wanted.
Choosing a first look means you won’t get that ‘wow’ moment as you see each other from opposite ends of the aisle. We’re not saying that won’t be a special moment, it just won’t be the same as if you’d not seen each other at all.
If you choose to have your first look at an outdoor location, you will need to allow additional time for travel to and from that location. This includes leaving time for traffic and timings for hair and makeup running over, which means getting up earlier. Having a location that’s special to you can be a nice touch, but it can also feel staged.
The biggest cons for your photographs are the lighting, and the expectations. The light before your ceremony will be different to afterwards. If you have an early wedding, we may not be able to get all your couple images in before your ceremony either. Talk to your photographer about what kind of feel you want to have in your images, and always have a flexible plan so you know you’re getting exactly what you want.
Looking for more wedding tips? Here we’re talking about How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer.